Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Crack in the Edge of the World

What a day! Jess and I went shopping at Fleet Farm, Aldis, Walmart, Family Dollar, and Piggly Wiggly. I hate shopping day. It's nice to have all of the cupboards refilled with food, but it's exhausting to get it all done. Mia needed some summer pajamas, so I looked at Walmart, but I didn't like the selection much, Family Dollar and Aldis didn't have any. When we picked up Mia from Jess' parents, they had a bag of clothing for Mia from a friend of theirs, and inside was a pair of pjs, just her size with the Disney Princesses on it. She put it on as soon as we got home and won't take it off. The Lord takes care of even our smallest needs. I just have to remember to lift them to Him. Sometimes I get so down trying to juggle everything and feeling guilty for what I cannot do; it's good to remember that I can't do everything, but He can through me.

A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester is about the catastrophic 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. This being the centennial of the event, there have been a lot of books produced about it, but I had heard good things about Winchester and his writing, so this is the one I picked. I'll have to find another one to read that has the info I was looking for. I was looking for a book filled with stories about the people who lived through it and how it affected their lives. I wanted to read about families separated and united, romances and businesses. I wanted to read about human emotion. This is not the book for that, but that's not to say that it doesn't have merit. I learned about plate tectonics, the formation of the world, the settlement of the American West, earthquakes in the Midwest, and much more, but only 50-75 pages of the book are actually devoted to the earthquake and fire in San Francisco, and once the fire it put out, the book quickly ends. There is a little discussion about the rebuilding, but mostly just to disparage the effort. Winchester throws in lots of footnotes with interesting asides and more annoyingly lots of Latin phrases and oversized words that show off his intelligence but do little to enhance the storytelling. His research is excellent, and I did learn quite a bit, enough to sleep well in my stable state of Wisconsin and ensure that I'll never visit California!

It's brats on the grill and corn on the cob for supper tonight. There are wonderful things about summer!